Hope Clark, well known for her Funds for Writers newsletters, and author of the popular Carolina Slade series graces our pages again today,
reminding us that as writers, we are a business made up of many, unique branches. Give her delightful books filled with tension and fun Southern settings. One of the best things you can do for yourself as a writer is to join one or all of her Funds for Writers newsletters. Weekly, they include loads tons of valuable information and feedback from the successes of writers breaking into the business.
Welcome back, Hope!
A Book Isn’t the Beginning or the End
All too often, writers think the book is their ultimate goal. Other writers see a book as the catapult for their writing careers. In reality, a book is a tool, and your career is much more than that book.
Picture Yourself Years from Now
It's also not just about marketing THAT book. Your career is a long and winding road, and like any professional journey, you should have benchmarks and vision. How do you want to be known? What is your brand? What is your theme as a writer? What do you hope to accomplish by the time your ink runs dry?
A Slice of the Pie
A book, any book, should just be a piece of the pie, not an ultimate conclusion or centerpiece. If you pitch a book to an agent, she would not be interested in just the book. She would want to know how you were grounded, how you plan to use a book as a tool coupled with your brand, and what you intend to pursue after that book to improve yourself and that brand. A step, not a goal.
You must show that you are not just a one-hit-wonder. Your manuscript is a story that means the world to you, but it won't make you a writer or seal your success. Again, it's a step in your effort to establish your unique voice in storytelling, a voice that you and readers should expect to grow.
You can write articles about or around the book. You can speak, blog, spin off sequels. You network with others and raise your image, using the book as the conduit between you and others. Spin off into ebooks, trailers, classes, newsletters, and consults. It's like Coca Cola and all its
flavors, containers, advertising, clothing and trinkets; it’s so much more.
You are a business. The book is only one of your commodities. The day of an author only selling books is over. Today, an author has to do more than sit in a room writing. He has to become an asset for a publisher, or if he self-publishes, he has to become an asset for his own organization.
But if you stop with one book, and wait for that one book to sell, you’ll be disappointed.
Don't be deceived that writing that lone book will jump start your career. It won't. It never has, for any writer. But it'll help you share your message. Your bigger picture message. The message that becomes your legacy, assuming you take your writing energy and keep it going.
C. Hope Clark is author Carolina Slade Mysteries, an award-winning series pitting a country girl against government bureaucracy, corruption, and rural criminals along the back roads and coastal marshes of South Carolina. Hope is also editor of FundsforWriters.com, chosen by Writer’s Digest for its 101 Best Websites for Writers for the past 14 years. www.chopeclark.com / www.fundsforwriters.com